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Weather forecast causing concern in the Weyburn, Yorkton, Broadview, Estevan

03:21 May 10 2011 Estevan, Saskatchewan

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The forecast for significant rainfall in the coming days is causing dark clouds of concern over eastern Saskatchewan.

"We're anticipating seeing as much as two inches of rain, 50 millimetres of rain, in the Weyburn, Yorkton, Broadview, Estevan area - so very widespread on the eastern side of the province," said Doug Johnson of the Saskatchewan Watershed Authority during Monday's provincial flood update.

"If it all materializes, we are going to see flows rise on the river systems and water levels will rise on the reservoirs and on the lakes."

Currently, the Rafferty Reservoir is near the maximum flood level of 554 metres. With little storage remaining, and rainfall forecast until Wednesday, outflows from the Rafferty Reservoir must be increased.

The Souris River's level could rise by more than one metre in Estevan and area.

"That will have major impacts on the properties that were combating the floods and the infrastructure in the river valley," Johnson said.

Residents in the river valley are being advised to prepare to protect themselves and their property.

Flows on the Souris River have already caused property problems in Estevan. The road SaskPower uses to haul coal from the north side of the river to Boundary power station was closed Sunday, Johnson said.

Water levels on the Qu'Appelle River system are dropping - except for Last Mountain Lake.

"All of the lakes have peaked with the exception of Last Mountain Lake, which is continuing a very slow rise," Johnson said. "The flows downstream of Round Lake are still fairly high, but they are dropping."

Staff from the Corrections, Public Safety, and Policing ministry are keeping a close eye on the Estevan area to manage peak flows. They're also working with First Nations such as Cowessess, Sakimay, and Ochapowace - all of which have reported road damage because of recent flooding.

Services in some provincial parks are being disrupted by flooding.

Campers are advised to check www.saskparks.net before heading out to a provincial park on or before the May long weekend.

Rowan's Ravine and Katepwa Point provincial parks and Regina Beach's recreation site will remain closed to the public until June.

Park boat launch and fish filleting facilities at Buffalo Pound, Echo Valley, Katepwa Point, Crooked Lake and Rowan's Ravine provincial parks and Regina Beach recreation site will not be operating until further notice.

Parks staff will contact seasonal campers and those with reservations in the affected parks.

The Provincial Disaster Assistance Program (PDAP) has received just under 200 applications due to this spring's flooding, said Mieka Torgrimson, director of the province's Emergency Management Organization.

"Residents do have six months from the date of the disaster to submit those applications, so they will continue to come in," she said.

The program provides financial assistance to communities and residents for damages or loss to essential and uninsurable property that is caused by a natural disaster. So far, 58 communities, including two First Nations, have been declared disaster areas as a result of the spring flooding.
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